I came to think about this last week when I dog-eared my copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Dog-earing will always be a “feud” us readers have, but I’m curious, do you dog-ear your books? I sure do. I do have some bookmarks so I don’t always do it, but when I do I don’t feel guilty or bad for doing it.
I dog-ear to remember my place or to find back to quotes I like. I don’t worry about breaking the spines (if they’re paperbacks) and sometimes I underline and scribble in the books if I feel like it. Sometimes I fold them in half for easier reading. When I hear people say they’re so scared to break the spine that they can barely open the book when they read I get so stressed out for them. I mean, you do you, but that sounds like a lot of effort. I love it when a book looks old and worn and well-read (and thus well-loved). Of course I only do this with my own books, but that should be a given. Though I doubt breaking a library book spine is a big deal, it’s pretty hard to avoid, especially if it’s a big book. Most will already be broken anyway.
Yes, my copy of Twilight reveals how much I used to love this series when I was a teenager. It’s quite funny to look back at this copy now and basically see my obsession on the pages and the cover.
Sure, a pristine bookstore-looking shelf might look good on instagram, but I love my war-torn copies of Harry Potter and all the broken and creased spines that show you what books I’ve read and which I haven’t. My bookshelf isn’t a bookstore or a museum. I love being able to look at a book and be able to tell if it’s loved or if it’s just “okay”.
I do like a pristine dust jacket though.
This far I’ve mostly made notes in books on my syllabus, but I want to start doing it in my other books too every now and then. I don’t know, I just like how it looks?
Now I’m genuinely curious to hear what you do. Do you dog-ear? Do you need your books to look pristine? Why, why not?